Sonnen and The Spider teaming up?

UFC Fighter Chael Sonnen attends the Tabu Ultra Lounge at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on July 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chael Sonnen gives Wanderlei Silva a lesson in how to properly challenge a rival.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.


For the second time in his career, Chael Sonnen will coach a season of The Ultimate Fighter, but this go round he'll be heading to Brazil to face off against Wanderlei Silva.

Sonnen is no stranger to leading fighters to the promised land of the UFC — both of the fighters from his team on Season 17 made it to the finals (Kelvin Gastelum and Uriah Hall). This time, however, Sonnen will have added pressure on his shoulders coaching a team of Brazilian fighters who might know his unfavorable opinion about their country, not to mention a language barrier.

For that reason alone, Sonnen may reach out to a Brazilian fighter to help coach his team and what better choice could there be besides former middleweight king Anderson Silva.

"Who knows, I may reach out to Anderson and see if he wants to be on the coaching staff with me," Sonnen revealed when speaking to reporters in England on Thursday.

Sonnen and Silva have a very long, sordid history together. The two competitors were intertwined together for the better part of two years after their first fight ended with Silva victorious only after Sonnen had already won the first four rounds of their championship bout.

The second fight was one of the biggest rematches in UFC history and ended after Silva TKO'd Sonnen in the second round. While the self-proclaimed 'American Gangster' still hopes to land a third fight with Silva one day, he believes working together could be beneficial to the fighters hoping to earn their way to the UFC.

"Anderson Silva was one of my first thoughts to ask and again that wouldn't be for me or for Anderson, that would be for the young men who are kicking and clawing and trying to get into the UFC," Sonnen said. "His knowledge of the sport is tremendous, but also his ability to communicate in a Portuguese atmosphere would be very helpful.

"So, I think he's got a relationship with Wanderlei so it's probably not likely, but that doesn't mean I won't reach out."

It's true that Anderson and Wanderlei have trained together in the past, years ago under the watchful eye of the Chute Boxe camp in Brazil. At that time, Wanderlei Silva was the king of Pride in Japan and Anderson Silva was still earning his way up the ranks.

A few years ago when Wanderlei first made the move down to middleweight, he and Anderson actually ended up in a war of words. Anderson said Wanderlei's move to 185 pounds was 'pretentious' and in response Wanderlei fired back calling Anderson 'cocky'. Cooler heads prevailed and the two Brazilians seemed to mend fences in subsequent years.

Sonnen says he will at least reach out to Silva to see if he's interested in joining his coaching staff. Right now the former middleweight champion is starting his training camp for the upcoming fight at UFC 168 against Chris Weidman. There is no set date for filming for The Ultimate Fighter Brazil to begin, but if Sonnen could somehow land his former foe as a coach it would certainly set an interesting stage going against Wanderlei Silva on the reality show.

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